In the press box……Denver v Oakland

Oh yes!  The team we love to hate.  Plus I’m bitter because my favorite ice cream isn’t here today.

Denver should win easily which means this will be a tough game.

15:00 first quarter – Raiders get the ball and the Broncos make a crushing tackle to start the game.  I especially love tough hits on any Raider.

13:10 first quarter – A three and out to start the game.  The defense looks fired up.  There was some worry that the team could be flat after the big game in Atlanta.  Defense into it but how about the offense?  We’ll find out pretty quickly.

12:00 first quarter – Payton Hillis is going to end up being the steal of the 2008 draft.  The offense isn’t looking crisp, but Hillis just gets it done.  He is a hoss!

9:55 first quarter – Wow!  Cutler looks for Hillis on a fast to the sideline, but missed Stokley all alone running down the middle.  Luckily there was a roughing the passer penalty, but that could have been a quick touchdown.  If Stokley can get deep on the Raider defense, look out!

7:16 first quarter – Cutler is spreading the ball around with the emphasis on Hillis and Stokley.  Look for Brandon Marshall to get the ball.  And as I type that, Marshall takes it down inside the 15.

6:13 first quarter – Hillis fumbles!  What a bad mistake.  This is what hppened that started the problems against Jacksonville.  Gotta finish when your in the red zone.  If the Broncos get scored on here, it will be a real momentum shift.

4:40 first quarter – Oakland’s first touchdown comes by way of a pass to ex-Bronco Ashley Leslie.  Interesting.  Historically, players that have been in Shanahan’s dog house and were released have come back and had good success against Denver (see Kennison, Eddie).  Something to keep in mind.

3:19 first quarter – Oakland is definitely finding ways to move the ball on this drive.  Broncos really need a stop.  Can they get it?  It looks like that answer is yes with Jamie Winborn stopping Justin Fargas for a loss on a 3rd and three.

1:00 first quarter – Broncos’ offense off but still making progress.  Got the first down!  Then Cutler scrambles and finds Darrell Jackson (Darrell Jackson?) who scrambles 64 yards to the 4 yard line.  The play is under review as the first quarter ends.  Jackson was down by contact at the 40 so the play was for 28 yards not 64.

End of the First Quarter:  Broncos and Raiders tied at 0-0

15:00 second quarter – Cutler throws a terrible ball that has been intercepted for a touchdown.  Unbelievable.  Wait, a flag for defensive holding.  What a break for the Broncos.  Very lucky.

13:16 second quarter – Cutler’s pick must have frightened Shanahan because the next two plays were runs for no gain.  Broncos settle for a field goal try. It. Is. No good.  Typical.  The Broncos are keeping the Raiders in this game which just gives Oakland confidence.

11:53 second quarter – Oakland on the move again with another first down pick up by Ashley Leslie.  It’s like he has something to prove….

10:22 second quarter – Broncos focus on stopping Fargas and Zach Miller comes wide open for a pass that takes the Raiders down to the three.  Broncos will have a tough time keeping the Raiders out of the endzone here.

9:12 second quarter – On second and one Karl Paymah crushes Fargas for a loss.  The Broncos have a key third down and get the stop, but Shanahan called timeout.  Oops!  Now the Raiders have another look at scoring a touchdown.

As I’m watching the Broncos and the hated Raiders, it reminds me that there are important elections in Venezuela.  As the husband of a Venezuelan, these are important to me and I will be following them all day at Daniel’s website.  just so you know.  Now back to the action.

8:04 second quarter – The Broncos get another stop and Oakland has decided to go for it on fourth down.  The Raiders have ran the ball three straight times (four, actually).  They would be stupid to do so again, but what do I know?  It doesn’t matter because of an Oakland false start.  Janikowski’s field goal is good, but a good stop for Denver.  Now the offense needs to get on track.

3 – 0 Raiders lead

7:07 second quarter – The Broncos have lived and died on third down today and the latest drive is no different.  Broncos move the chains on a dicey pass to Stokley.  Hillis follows that up with a nice run.  The Broncos have proved they can move the ball, but really it’s more about getting in the end zone.  I think it’s important they get a touchdown before half time.

5:19 second quarter – Another third down and another first down.  Hillis with a nice rush.  He runs a lot like Terrell Davis did.  Not saying Hillis is in the same catagory, but there is a similarity.  Hillis has 44 yards on 11 carries so far.  Not bad.

3:53 second quarter – It’s uncanny.  Another third down and another conversion.  Stokley with another catch.  Broncos are currently 5 for 6 on third down conversions.  An amazing rate.  Two incompletions later and we’ll see if the Broncos can go 6 for seven.

3:03 second quarter – Not this time.  Eddie Royal catches the ball out of bounds and Prater has another opportunity.  Prater is accurate and the game is tied.

3 – 3 game tied

Back in a minute, I need some Coke and maybe some ice cream…if I can find my favorite Chocolate Pudding.

2:00 second quarter – I’m back just in time for the two minute warning.  The Raiders have a third and one and the Denver defense has been stingy.  Can the Broncos keep it up?  Yes they can and the resulting punt gives the Broncos a first down on their own twenty.

1:40 second quarter – Cutler tries another long pass to Marshall, but it’s under thrown.  On second down, they try the same play to Royal and overthrows him by a scooch.  The good news for the Broncos is that it’s third down.  I smell a touchdown.  After this timeout.

1:25 second quarter – Not a touchdown, and not even a first down. Raiders call timeout.

1:23 second quarter – Broncos punt and Johnnie Lee Higgins takes it to the house.  The Bronco fans were looking for a flag, but the only one they see is for excessive celebration, or maybe unneccesarily dangerous celebration, for a back flip that Higgins bungled.  The extra point is good anyway and the Raiders retake the lead.

10 – 3 Raiders lead

:48 second quarter – The Broncos are going to keep trying the same play until it works, apparently.  The long pass down the right side to someone hasn’t worked yet, but keep trying, I guess.

:31 second quarter – Marshall runs a different route this time and makes the catch.  The Broncos hurry to spike it and the Raiders are offsides.

:22 second quarter – Another incomplete pass and another penalty on the Raiders, their third of the penalty of this drive.  Broncos run short of time though and Prater’s kick is no good.  That’s the half, and I imagine there will be some yelling in the Denver locker room.  Back after half time.

End of the First Half:  Oakland leads 10 – 3

15:00 third quarter – The second half started and I didn’t even notice.  Apparently the Broncos got the ball and now it’s third and eleven.  Not a good start, of course there is third down.  And Cutler delivers with a savvy first down gaining rush.

13:09 third quarter – We have a Tony Scheffler sighting.  His first catch of the day gives the Broncos another first down.  Two plays later, Hillis takes the handoff, runs over two Raiders for a nine yard gain.  He is a bruising runner.  I can see why Darren McFadden enjoyed having Hillis in front of him at Arkansas.  One of the aforementioned run over Raiders isn’t getting up so we take a timeout.

11:39 third quarter – After resuming action, two Cutler passes net the Broncos eight yards and then complete another third down pass to Brandon Marshall.  Ah yes, yet another roughing the passer penalty against the Raiders.  Those Raiders sure to get a lot of flags thrown against them.

9:37 third quarter – The Broncos fall just short on their next third down attempt and will go for it on fourth down.  They need a touchdown and Hillis delivers with a bruising touchdown run.  Hillis is firmly entrenching himself as the feature back.  Is it too late for him to rush for 1,000 yards this year?  Probably, but still…..

10 – 10 tie game

8:59 third quarter – Ashley Leslie continues to torment his old team by hanging onto a 51 yard JaMarcus Russell pass.  The Broncos’ defensive is under duress yet again.

7:25 third quarter – McFadden, the other guy from Arkansas gets the first down and Fargas gets the Raiders to the one.  Can the Broncos repeat their first half goal line stand?  Not on first down.  But on second down, the Raiders get wise and try something else.  The result is a touchdown by Darren McFadden.

17 – 10 Raiders lead

5:01 third quarter – The Broncos are back on offense and definitely need points.  They’ve shown they can move the ball, all their drives have gone into Raider territory, but they must score.  Instead they do the opposite and go three and out.   An Oakland score on this upcaming drive could be fatal for the Broncos.

3:54 third quarter – Just a note that Russell is 9 for 9 passing the ball today.  Amazing how people get well against the Broncos defense.

1:50 third quarter – A trickeration play for the Raiders moves the chains and will let them hold onto the ball for the rest of the quarter.  Have to compliment the great individual efforts by Michael Bush and Zach Miller for the play.

:03 third quarter – The Broncos defense looks tired and the Raiders are exploiting it by picking up large chunks of yards in the rushing game.  The Denver defense better do something now, or they will lose this game.

End of the third quarter: 17 – 10 Raiders lead

15:00 fourth quarter – Oakland comes out and throws a deep ball that is incomplete, but a pass interference call puts the ball inside the Bronco 10, yet again.

14:08 fourth quarter – Ashley Leslie is going to haunt Mike Shanahan tonight.  He holds on to a 4 yard touchdown pass to put the Raiders up 24 – 10.  Shanahan didn’t like Leslie because he dropped too many balls.  It seems he’s fixed that problem.

24 – 10 Oakland leads

14:08 fourth quarter – If there’s a must score situation, the Broncos are in it.  If they don’t score on this drive, the game is likely over.  They make a good start with a great catch by Tony Scheffler.  This will be reviewed but I think the play will stand err be reversed.  Schleffer’s hand hit out of bounds before his second foot hit.  So much for that good start.

13:36 fourth quarter – Cutler looks outside again and has his pass intercepted.  Not good.  “Why aren’t the Broncos running the ball” is a common question in the press box right now.  Lots of Bronco “fans” leaving.  Remember, it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and it’s not over now, unless the Raiders score a touchdown on this drive.

11:35 fourth quarter – McFadden is taking over this game and the Broncos have no answer.   Something big needs to happen for the Broncos to make a comeback.

9:42 fourth quarter – McFadden punches it in and the Raiders go up 31 – 10.  That’s enough for the Bronco faithful who are streaming out of Invesco Field.  The post game comments should be very interesting.

31 – 10 Raiders lead

9:22 fourth quarter – Down 21 points and now the Broncos start running the ball.  The Denver fans still left are letting the Broncos know what they think of the offensive (in many ways) effort.

8:12 fourth quarter – Two long plays get the Broncos into Raider territory then Cutler throws into triple coverage, nearly getting intercepted again.

7:16 fourth quarter – Broncos have third and 15 and run the ball.  They do get first down yardage on fourth down, but their is a flag.  Two flags mean offsetting penalties and the Broncos must get the ten yards yet again.

6:47 fourth quarter – Cutler tosses it to Marshall but it’s incomplete.  Lots of Broncos think there was interference, but it doesn’t matter now.  You can bet the Raiders will try to score here.  They remember getting blown out in the opener and want revenge.

Two fans have run on the field and were quickly tackled by security.  I have to say that was the best tackling I’ve seen by anyone from Denver this half.

5:47 fourth quarter – The Raiders are running out the clock and I’m heading downstairs.  Be back later.

Back from the locker room and what can I say.  The Broncos got outplayed.  It will be interesting to see how they react to this next week at the Jets.

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